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The European Commission agreed on Wednesday to impose punitive import duties on solar panels from China in a move to guard against what it sees as Chinese dumping of cheap goods in Europe.
>Shares in German manufacturers SolarWorld, Phoenix Solar and Centrotherm rose as much as 7 percent on the decision, while Frankfurt-listed shares in China’s Suntech were down more than 4 percent. The investigation into accusations of dumping is the biggest the commission has launched but Brussels is trying to tread a careful path, knowing it needs China, the EU’s second largest trading partner, to help the bloc pull out from recession.
China’s ambassador to the World Trade Organisation, Yi Xiaozhun, called the decision a mistake although he declined to comment on any possible retaliation by Beijing. “It will send the wrong message to the world that protectionism is coming,” Yi told Reuters in Geneva.
Given that Germany and France are seeking to increase exports to China, De Gucht will try for a negotiated solution with new Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng before an EU deadline in December to cement the levies for up to five years. […]
Chinese solar panel production quadrupled between 2009 and 2011 to more than the entire global demand. EU producers say Chinese companies have captured more than 80 percent of the European market from almost zero a few years ago, exporting 21 billion euros ($27 billion) to the European Union in 2011. <
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